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Easy Crockpot Mashed Potatoes | Just Take A Bite

Easy Crockpot Mashed Potatoes

No need to stand at the stove making mashed potatoes at the last minute when hosting a holiday gathering. Let your crockpot do all the work! Crockpot mashed potatoes are easy to prepare and can stay warm and ready to serve whenever you need them.

Easy Crockpot Mashed Potatoes | Just Take A Bite

We are quickly approaching the holiday season. That means big meals and lots of great food.

If you’re like me you prefer to host rather than travel.

But that is a lot of work!

Now you can take one thing off of your last minute to-do list. Crockpot mashed potatoes let you prepare a staple side dish in advance and forget about it until dinner is served.

It really doesn’t get any easier.

Easy Crockpot Mashed Potatoes | Just Take A Bite

Head over to Super Healthy Kids to find out just how easy these crockpot mashed potatoes really are. Then add them to your Thanksgiving menu.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Candy Corn Potatoes And Carrots | Just Take A Bite

Crockpot Candy Corn Potatoes and Carrots

Halloween isn’t limited to sweets. Candy corn potatoes and carrots is festive and healthy! You won’t have any problem getting your kids to eat vegetables when they look like dessert.

Candy Corn Potatoes And Carrots | Just Take A Bite

I love fall.

I wish it could last longer. Mild temperatures. Beautiful colors. All things pumpkin.

Savoring the season.

I recently shared my candy corn finger jello recipe as a nod to fall and a tribute to my grandparents. In that same spirit I have another fun play on candy corn today. But this time it is savory!

Candy corn potatoes and carrots is a fun and healthy side dish. You can modify it to meet your dietary needs too.

Change it up.

The base recipe uses white potatoes, sweet potatoes and carrots. But if you don’t want to use roots or don’t like quite that much starch (or have a crazy sensitivity/allergy to them like my daughter) then you can use pumpkin or squash (yellow/orange) and cauliflower (white)!

Candy Corn Potatoes And Carrots | Just Take A Bite

Take your time.

The preparation for candy corn potatoes and carrots is so simple because the crockpot does most of the work for you. Toss all of the veggies in the crockpot. Once they are cooked you simply puree and layer them.

The entire dish can be prepared in advance and just warmed before you eat. The warming can even be done in the crockpot!
Naturally Sweetened Sweets - A Community Cookbook

Pick your flavor.

I love how versatile the flavor of this dish is. Add any seasoning, spices or even sweeteners you like.

My kids love a little brown sugar on their carrots and sweet potatoes. So I added just a touch to the bottom layers. But if you like things really savory adding salt, pepper and herbs would be just as delicious. Or you can find a happy medium by adding a pinch of cinnamon.

Candy Corn Potatoes And Carrots | Just Take A Bite

Go ahead and choose which color to put in which layer. I like the dark to light effect. But you can go with the traditional candy corn yellow, orange, white scheme too.

Fun holiday dinner.

Are you wondering what to serve for dinner on Halloween? How about roast beef paired with candy corn vegetables and candy corn finger jello?! Your kids will love it. Plus they’ll fill up on nourishing foods and won’t crave a bunch of sweets later (can I get an Amen?!).

You could even turn this into a one pot meal by adding seasoned ground beef, chicken or turkey between each layer. Candy corn casserole!

Surprise the kids with some Halloween fun before the trick-or-treating begins. Candy corn potatoes and carrots (or squash and cauliflower) is a healthy way to enjoy the holiday.

Do you have any creative Halloween traditions or treats?

If not, start one with a festive dinner your kids will request year after year that includes candy corn potatoes and carrots.

Candy Corn Potatoes And Carrots | Just Take A Bite

Crockpot Candy Corn Potatoes and Carrots
Serves 6
A fun, fall side dish filled with vegetables.
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Ingredients
  1. Orange layer: 3-5 sweet potatoes OR 1 orange flesh squash (pumpkin, butternut, kabocha)
  2. Yellow layer: 6-8 large yellow carrots OR 1 yellow flesh squash (acorn, spaghetti)
  3. White layer: 3-4 white potatoes OR 1 head cauliflower
  4. unrefined sea salt to taste
  5. water, broth or milk (enough to puree)
  6. optional: brown cane sugar, maple syrup, honey, herbs, cinnamon, spices
Instructions
  1. Peel and cut vegetables into large chunks.
  2. Place the vegetables in glass containers with a small amount of water or broth. Place the containers directly into the crockpot.
  3. Add about 1/2 inch of water to the bottom of the crockpot.
  4. Cook on high about 3 hours, until vegetables are tender.
  5. Remove containers from the crockpot.
  6. Add salt and any sweetener, herbs or spices and puree with an immersion blender (or in a blender). Add water, broth or milk if needed.
  7. Layer the vegetables in desired order in a see-through oven safe dish.
  8. Serve immediately or place in the crockpot on warm or cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to heat (in a 350*F oven for about 20 minutes).
Notes
  1. If using squash it can be roasted whole in the crockpot or oven, then cut open and the flesh scooped out. You can keep it as is or puree it at this point.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/
 In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

This post is linked to Savoring Saturdays.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Homemade Tallow French Fries | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Homemade Tallow French Fries

Nothing goes better with your grilled burger than fresh-out-of-the-pan tallow french fries!  No vegetable oil.  No fillers.  Just pure potato and real fat.

Homemade Tallow French Fries | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

You’ve got the grill fired up.  The burgers are under way.  There is a pile of fresh vegetables from the garden to create a salad.

But something is missing.

What is the perfect side with a grilled burger and garden vegetables?  French fries, of course!

Sometimes convenience wins.

There is very little convenience food that I buy.  But I confess that french fries are almost always in my freezer.  They are easy when you don’t have time to cut up potatoes.

Plus with a kid that is allergic to wheat, rice and corn but refuses to eat potatoes in any form except french fries or chips…you serve french fries a little more than you would like.

Since I don’t really care for the vegetable oils in the frozen variety I do sometimes make my own tallow french fries.

If you have never had homemade french fries you are really missing out!  They are better than anything you’ll get from a bag or even from a restaurant.

My whole family goes crazy for these tallow french fries.  I go crazy for them too…because they are made with healthy fat and have no fillers, gums or acids.  Some frozen french fries even have corn!  A big no-no with a corn allergy.

Homemade Tallow French Fries | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

There is a secret.

When making homemade tallow french fries there is an important step you can’t forget.  Soak and dry the potatoes!  This is critical so they will fry up nicely.  The soaking removes some of the starch.  And oil and water really don’t mix.

Another key to great french fries is using enough fat.  I don’t have a fryer.  I don’t like to use up all of my tallow at one time either.  But I do make sure that there is a plenty of fat in the pan.  When I’m done making the french fries I pour the leftover tallow back into a jar to use later.

Of course the final step is to sprinkle the tallow french fries with lots of quality unrefined sea salt.  The saltier the better in my opinion.

Then pair them with quality ketchup or make your own!

Homemade Tallow French Fries | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Fresh is best.

Homemade tallow french fries are best eaten fresh out of the pan.  There really is nothing like it.

But if you have leftovers (something that pretty much never happens here with homemade fries) you can reheat them in the oven.

You could make a big batch when you have some time in the kitchen and freeze them so you have homemade french fries on hand for quick meals.

Not a fan of potatoes?

Maybe you don’t like potatoes?  Or maybe you’re like me and don’t tolerate them?

Try another vegetable!  You can use the same cooking method with carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes and rutabagas.  Pretty much any root vegetable will work.

Is your mouth watering yet?  I know mine is.  Grab some potatoes, tallow and salt.  Fry up the best french fries you’ve ever tasted.  Just a warning…your family will want them all the time once they’ve tried tallow french fries.

Have you ever made your own french fries?

Homemade Tallow French Fries | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Homemade Tallow French Fries
Serves 4
Homemade french fries with real fat and real salt.
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Ingredients
  1. 3 medium russet potatoes
  2. sea salt to taste
  3. tallow (enough to fill pan)
Instructions
  1. Peel the potatoes. Cut into 1/2" sticks.
  2. Soak the potatoes in cold water for 30 minutes.
  3. Dry the potatoes completely.
  4. Heat tallow in a large skillet over medium heat (use enough to fill the pan about 1/4" deep).
  5. Cook the potatoes in the tallow until golden, turning once in a while to make sure all sides are browned, about 10 - 15 minutes.
  6. Place the finished fries on a paper towel and sprinkle liberally with sea salt.
  7. Serve immediately.
Notes
  1. Lard or palm shortening will work in place of the tallow.
  2. Any root vegetable will work in place of the potato.
  3. Store leftover fries in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Heat in the oven to warm.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/
 In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Sweet Potato Salmon Burgers | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Sweet Potato Salmon Burgers

Get out of your summer burger rut with these sweet potato salmon burgers!  They are simple, nutritious and even make great finger food for the little ones.Sweet Potato Salmon Burgers | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

You’ve had the grill going all summer with the usual fare – hamburgers, hot dogs, barbecue chicken.

Those are all great.  But are you ready to change it up?

Sweet potato salmon burgers are a delicious alternative to traditional hamburgers that you can eat all year long.

They only require a few simple ingredients and minimal preparation time.  Sweet potato salmon burgers make a great, quick weekday lunch.

Keep them in mind when it’s time to pack lunches again!  They are great eaten cold.Sweet Potato Salmon Burgers | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

You can decide if you make them heavier or lighter on the meat or potato.  By using less salmon these burgers make a very budget-friendly meal.

I love how easily these burgers come together.  All of the ingredients can be eaten as-is so it’s just mixing and warming.  No need to worry about how well done they are.

But what I love even more is how much my kids enjoy them.

You can eat them on a bun or just dip them in ketchup.

It is fun and easy to spruce up sweet potato salmon burgers.

We top them with homemade pesto.  You could eat them open face with a fried egg.  Here are some other delicious toppings for sweet potato salmon burgers:

Now that my little one is eating a lot of solids I have to cook things she can eat as well.  Sweet potato salmon burgers make a perfect finger food.

All of the ingredients are safe for babies six months and older.  Break up the burger into small pieces and let them feed themselves.Sweet Potato Salmon Burgers | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Let’s not forget the nutrition factor!

Sweet potato salmon burgers have healthy starch and vitamins from the sweet potatoes.  The egg yolks are packed with vitamins.  Salmon has essential fatty acids.  Then they are cooked in healthy fat for a balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat all in one burger.

Be sure to make a big batch of sweet potato salmon burgers.  You can freeze some for later.  And leftovers are great cold or warm.

Add pieces of burger to your salad, cut it up for dipping or mix it into your scrambled eggs!  I like to slather mine with pesto and eat it plain.

If you don’t tolerate potatoes you can use another orange vegetable like pumpkin or squash.  The burgers will still taste just as great.

Are you ready for something different on your grill?  Sweet potato salmon burgers are the perfect summer or year round meal.Sweet Potato Salmon Burgers | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Sweet Potato Salmon Burgers
Yields 6
A light burger perfect for summer picnics. It even makes great finger food for babies.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup cooked and mashed sweet potato (or pumpkin or carrot)
  2. 6 - 14 oz. canned boneless skinless salmon (one 6 oz. can, two 6 oz. cans or one 14 oz. can - however meaty you like it)
  3. 2 egg yolks
  4. 1 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  5. 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  6. 1/2 tsp. dill weed
  7. 1/2 tsp. organic cane sugar
  8. lard, tallow or coconut oil for frying
  9. optional - crumbled bacon or bacon strips, pesto, grilled onions, avocado, tartar sauce, Miracle Whip®
Instructions
  1. Add the potato, salmon, egg, salt, garlic powder and sugar to a medium size bowl. Puree with an immersion blender. Add crumbled bacon at this point if desired.
  2. Chill 30 minutes.
  3. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the frying oil.
  4. Divide the mixture into 6 burgers.
  5. Cook in the pan until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes per side.
  6. Place burgers on buns and add favorite toppings (bacon strips, grilled onions, pesto, avocado, tartar sauce, Miracle Whip®)
Notes
  1. These burgers make great finger food for babies 6 months and older.
  2. You can substitute tuna for the salmon.
  3. You can add anchovies or sardines to the burger for extra nutrition.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/


In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

This post is linked to Savoring Saturdays.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Easy Homemade Chip Dip

Easy Homemade Chip Dip - Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

 It may be September, but summer is not over yet!  There is still plenty of time for grilling and picnics.

One of the easiest side dishes for a summer meal is chips with dip.   You can buy your favorite kind of chip (we like the potato chips made with olive oil) or make a batch of homemade chips.  Then all you have to do is take one minute to mix up a quick dip.

This chip dip reminds me of my favorite childhood dip – french onion.  But there isn’t actually any onion in it!  Better than that there isn’t any MSG or anything artificial.  Just a few simple ingredients.

This is not a dip full of spice.  We keep it simple for the oral sensory issues in our family.  But that doesn’t mean it’s low on flavor.  This simple chip dip tastes great and packs a punch of flavor.

If you don’t eat chips, this dip works very well for fresh vegetables or kale chips.  We even enjoy it on a burger or as a dipping sauce for fish.  It is very versatile.

This even works well for packing school lunches. A tasty dip is a great way to get kids to eat fresh vegetables.

The next time you need a quick dip try this simple version.  It takes less than a minute to make and will be a family favorite. 

Easy Homemade Chip Dip
A simple chip dip made with real ingredients that only takes a minute to prepare.
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Ingredients
  1. 2/3 cup sour cream
  2. 1/4 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  3. 1/2 tsp. dill weed
  4. 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients. Mix well.
  2. Chill until ready to serve.
Notes
  1. This dip goes very well with chips but can also be used for fresh vegetables, on burgers or with fish.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Sweet Potato Lentil Soup

I continue to push myself a bit and try new foods that have been on my avoid list for a while.  This week I tried sweet potatoes.  And I tried them in a very delicious way…sweet potato and lentil soup!  I found the recipe on Food.com.

It was really easy to make.  I actually prepped it first thing in the morning.  Then at dinner time all I had to do was warm it.  We all really enjoyed it.  You’d never know it has lentils.  So it’s a great way to sneak them into a meal since they are so healthy.

I used regular green lentils instead of red…mostly because I started soaking the lentils before I read the recipe thoroughly 😛  I’ll have to try it with the red sometime.  I also just used what spices/herbs I had on hand.  So ours tasted a bit different than the original, but it was still good.

I did learn that sweet potatoes are still on my avoid list 😛  But at least I got to enjoy this tasty soup.

I did not make a full recipe.  I’ll post it as I made it.  There was enough for two adults, one child and enough leftover for a couple more bowls.

I garnished the soup with crispy chickpeas (sauteed in evoo until crisp).  They added nice texture to the soup.

Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup
~ 4 – 5 servings

3 cups chicken or turkey broth (or water)
3/4 cups lentils (red or green), soaked
3 cups sweet potatoes, cut in large chunks
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cumin
3 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. thyme

Combine all ingredients.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Simmer until the potatoes and lentils are cooked, about 30 minutes.

Use an immersion blender to puree the soup (or puree it in a blender and pour it back into the pan).  Adjust seasoning to taste.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Scalloped Sweet Potatoes and Apples

Earlier this week I made another recipe from my Old Pennsylvania Dutch Recipes book.  It is called Scalloped Sweet Potatoes and Apples.  Perfect for fall in Michigan!

It was quite easy to make and turned out really well.  I cooked the sweet potatoes first thing in the morning.  Then did the peeling and slicing when it was time to make dinner.

This got two thumbs up from the family.  I used sweet potatoes from our garden and apples from my in-laws’ farm.  It would be a great recipe for a large crowd, a holiday or a potluck.  I only made a half recipe and we had plenty of leftovers.

This post is linked to Fight Back Friday and Fresh Bites Friday.

Scalloped Sweet Potatoes and Apples

6 medium sweet potatoes
1 1/2 cups apple slices
1/2 cup rapadura (or organic cane brown sugar)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground mace (I don’t even know what mace is…I just used cinnamon)
1/4 cup butter

Wash and cook sweet potatoes in boiling water to cover until just tender.  Peel and cut into crosswise slices 1/4 in. thick.

Butter a 2 qt. casserole and arrange one half of the sweet potatoes in the bottom.  Then later one half of the apple slices.  Sprinkle with one half of a mixture of the brown sugar, salt and mace.  Dot with 2 Tbsp. butter.  Repeat layering, ending with apples, seasoning and butter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Crockpot Baked Potato Soup

This week we need several prep ahead meals…which  usually means crockpot meals.  By the third one I wanted to try something new.  I decided to make potato soup.  I’ve never made any kind of potato soup before.  I checked A Year of Slow Cooking to see if Stephanie had a good one.  I went with the first recipe I found for baked potato soup.  It was super easy to make and tasted really good.  I didn’t eat it for dinner since I can’t eat potatoes, but I did taste it…made me wish I could 🙂  Justin and Rebecca both really enjoyed it.  I only made a half recipe.  It still made quite a bit.  I modified it slightly to our tastes/with what I had on hand.  I also made a quick batch of homemade cream cheese to use in it instead of store bought.  If you don’t have any cream cheese or want it to be dairy free this would be just fine without it.  Or you could substitute sour cream.  I served the soup with crumbled bacon and shredded cheese.

Crockpot Baked Potato Soup

2 lbs. potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 small onion, roughly chopped
2 cups broth or water (if using water add extra seasoning)
sea salt and garlic powder to taste
1 cup homemade cream cheese (or 8 oz. pkg. of cream cheese)

Toppings: crumbled bacon, shredded cheese, sour cream, olives, chives

Place potatoes, onion, broth and seasoning in crockpot.  Cook on low 8+ hours or on high 4+ hours (until potatoes are tender…cooking longer won’t hurt anything).  Mash or blend potatoes to desired consistency (I made it smooth with my immersion blender).

Add cream cheese.  Stir.  Cook on high about 30 minutes.

Pour into bowls and add toppings.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Sweet Potato Gummies

Now that Abram is eating more solids and finger foods I’ve been trying to come up with some homemade snacks that are easy for him to pick up without making a huge mess and soft enough to chew/gum.  I did my first round of experimenting about a week ago.  I tried two versions of a sweet potato snack.  One of them turned out pretty well.  But not for Abram.  It’s a little too chewy for him, but Rebecca really enjoys it.  So I asked her to name it.  She calls these “sweet potato gummies.”  I didn’t totally measure everything, but I’ll do my best to remember the quantities I used.  This is a healthy, portable, chewy snack for young children (and adults too :).  Abram did eat some of these right after they came out of the dehydrator (when they were still quite soft).  But once they cool/dry completely they get chewier.  More experimenting to come for a snack that Abram can eat.

This post is linked to Fat Tuesday at Real Food Forager.

Sweet Potato Gummies

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup kefir, buttermilk, yogurt or sour cream
1 cup sweet potato puree (squash or pumpkin would work too)
1/4 cup melted butter or coconut oil
1 egg
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
honey to sweeten if desired

Mix flour and cultured dairy in a glass bowl.  Cover and let sit for 7-24 hours.

Add remaning ingredients and mix well.  Pour into a greased 8″or 9″ pan.  Bake at 350 for abot 30 minutes.  Let cool slightly.

Remove from pan and break into bite size pieces on a a dehydrator try.  Dry for 2-4 hours, until dry and chewy, but not crispy.  Let cool.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Crockpot Sweet Mustard Roast

For lunch yesterday I tried a new recipe from A Year of Slow Cooking for sweet mustard roast.  It was very easy and very good.  I didn’t follow the recipe exactly.  I just used the idea and what ingredients I had on hand.  I used grass fed rump roast.  The roast was super moist and tasted really good.  I’ll post the recipe the way I made it.  Check out Stephanie’s blog for the original recipe.  I cooked the roast with sweet potatoes, carrots and red pepper slices.

Crockpot Sweet Mustard Roast

3 lbs. beef or pork roast (it can be frozen)
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup mustard
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar)
1 tsp. salt
1/3 cup chili sauce (this was my addition…my homemade chili sauce)
vegetables (optional – I used sweet potatoes, carrots and peppers)

Chop vegetables. Place in crockpot.  Place roast on top of vegetbales.  Pour 1/4 cup water in the crockpot.  Season everything with salt.  Mix remaining ingredients in a small dish.  Pour over roast and vegetables.  Cook on low 7+ hours or high 5+ hours, until the meat is tender.  Flip the roast part way through cooking.  To serve carve the roast and pour the liquid over top.  Serve the vegetables on the side.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.